Court supervision in juvenile sentencing in Illinois always depended on approval by the prosecution. The law is now different, and allows the court to grant supervision in juvenile court over the State’s objection.
In re Derrico G., 2014 IL 114463 (08/04/2014).
Did the trial court error when it sentenced the juvenile to supervision over the State’s objection notwithstanding the law has been changed to allow the court to grant supervision even when the State objects to it?
The minor plead guilty to aggravated battery on a public way. The minor attacked a police officer who was trying to arrest his brother. A prior possession of a controlled substance was dismissed. In that case, the minor was caught selling crack on the streets.
At the time of the plea, the State objected to supervision. The court accepted the plea but did not enter a judgement. The court found this “state consent” provision unconstitutional and gave supervision over the State’s objection. State appealed.
At the time of this minor’s case, Illinois Compiled Statutes The Juvenile Court Act of 1987 section 705 ILCS 405/5-615(1) & (2) prevented court supervision if the State objected.
The statute now reads:
“(1) The court may enter an order of continuance under supervision for an offense other than first degree murder, a Class X felony or a forcible felony:
(a) upon an admission or stipulation by the appropriate respondent or minor respondent of the facts supporting the petition and before the court makes a finding of delinquency, and in the absence of objection made in open court by the minor, his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian, the
minor’s attorney or the State’s Attorney; or
(b) upon a finding of delinquency and after considering the circumstances of the offense and the history, character, and condition of the minor, if the court is of the opinion that:
(i) the minor is not likely to commit further crimes;
(ii) the minor and the public would be best served if the minor were not to receive a criminal record; and
(iii) in the best interests of justice an order of continuance under supervision is more appropriate than a sentence otherwise permitted under this Act.”
705 ILCS 405/5-615(1) & (2), Continuance under supervision.
This still prevents the circuit court from entering an order of continuance under supervision over the State’s Attorney’s objection before a finding of delinquency. But now the law allows the court to unilaterally order a continuance under supervision upon a finding of delinquency if the court establishes the three conditions outlined above.
Given the changes in the law, this appeal is not moot.
There is also the matter of accounting for the charges that were either nol-prossed or stricken on leave to reinstate pursuant to the parties’ plea agreement, which the circuit court cannot simply disregard.
The Supreme Court then went through a systematic evaluation of the constitutionality of the older “Consent Provision”. The older statute was found to be constitutional.
Additionally, the appellate court found that the circuit court erred in finding otherwise and in continuing the matter under supervision pursuant to that finding.
Trial court is reversed.
The case was was returned to the circuit court to the pre-trial finding, procedural posture it occupied when the circuit court unilaterally modified the parties’ plea agreement, struck down the statute, and entered an order continuing the case under supervision.
The status of the negotiated plea agreement presented by the parties for the court’s consideration is the initial matter before the trial court. If the trial court, again, reject the plea all the charges are reinstated.